September 30, 2009

Pt 1: Canadian Blood Services vs. Gay Donors - If you are a regular blood donor, you're probably familiar with the exhaustive list of questions involved. Do you feel well today? In the last 12 months, have you been in jail or prison? Have you ever handled monkeys or their bodily fluids? And then there's question number 19 ... which reads, "Male donors: Have you had sex with a man, even one time since 1977?"

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Pt 2: Gay Murder in Iraq - Hamid is a 35-year-old gay man who lives in Iraq ... a country where human rights groups and activists say members of the gay community are being hunted down and killed by death squads. In April, Hamid's partner was abducted. Hamid told the story of what happened to Human Rights Watch. We aired a reading of what he told them. (We should warn you, it's a disturbing story that may not be suitable for children.)

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Pt 3: Scott Expedition - We started this segment with a reading of part of letter written nearly a century ago by Charles Wright. At the time, Charles Wright -- or Silas as he was known to the rest of the crew -- was the only Canadian member of the Scott Expedition ... the legendary and ultimately doomed effort to be the first men to reach the South Pole.

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It's Wednesday, September 30th.

Sarah Palin's memoir Going Rogue will be in book stores by November ... several months earlier than expected.

Currently, the publisher attributes the early release date to the fact it's only half-finished.

This is The Current.

Canadian Blood Services vs. Gay Donors - AIDS Society

If you are a regular blood donor, you're probably familiar with the exhaustive list of questions involved. Do you feel well today? In the last 12 months, have you been in jail or prison? Have you ever handled monkeys or their bodily fluids? And then there's question number 19 ... which reads, "Male donors: Have you had sex with a man, even one time since 1977?"

That's the question that Kyle Freeman finds offensive which is why he says he lied about his answer and his sexual history in order to donate blood. Canadian Blood Services has sued him over that. And now Kyle Freeman is suing Canadian Blood Services. He says the questionnaire the agency uses to screen out unsuitable donors violates his charter rights. And he is seeking 250,000 dollars in damages.

Kyle Freeman isn't available to speak to us this morning. But his case is being supported by the Canadian AIDS Society. Douglas Elliott is the lawyer representing the Canadian AIDS Society as an intervener in this lawsuit and he was in Toronto.

Candian Blood Services vs. Gay Donors - CBS

Lorna Tessier is the Canadian Blood Services' National Director, Responsible for Stakeholder Relations and Public Involvement. She was in Ottawa.

Candian Blood Services vs. Gay Donors - Professor

Kyle Freeman's lawyers will argue charter rights were violated when he was denied the ability to give blood because he has had sex with another man. For his thoughts on the constitutional dimensions of this case, we were joined by Allan Hutchinson. He's a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and he was in Toronto.


Gay Murder in Iraq - Journalist

Hamid is a 35-year-old gay man who lives in Iraq ... a country where human rights groups and activists say members of the gay community are being hunted down and killed by death squads. In April, Hamid's partner was abducted. Hamid told the story of what happened to Human Rights Watch. We aired a reading of what he told them. (We should warn you, it's a disturbing story that may not be suitable for children.)

For the last five months Afif Sarhan has been investigating stories like Hamid's. As a journalist who works out of Iraq and he managed to meet some of the men behind the violence. He wrote about it earlier this month for the British newspaper, The Observer.

Gay Murder in Iraq - Iraqi LGBT

The killings that Afif Sarhan described have created a climate of fear in Iraq's LGBT community. Anmar is a gay man who lives in Iraq. And we asked him to describe what life is like for him. We aired a translated clip.

In the wake of the increase in these attacks against, Ali Hili decided to form an organization to support and help protect the LGBT community. Ali Hili used to live in Iraq and now lives in London, England where he runs an organization called Iraqi LGBT.


Scott Expedition

We started this segment with a reading of part of letter written nearly a century ago by Charles Wright. At the time, Charles Wright -- or Silas as he was known to the rest of the crew -- was the only Canadian member of the Scott Expedition ... the legendary and ultimately doomed effort to be the first men to reach the South Pole.

The story of that expedition has been told many times over the years and it has made Robert Scott something of a hero in his native England. But Adrian Raeside has come to know a very different version of those events. He is the grandson of Charles "Silas" Wright. And he is the author of Return to Antarctica: The Amazing Adventure of Sir Charles Wright on Robert Scott's Journey to The South Pole. Adrian Raeside was in Toronto.

Last Word - Robert Scott

We ended the program with one more take on the life and death of Robert Scott. In 1948, his story was made into a movie called Scott of The Antarctic starring John Mills as Robert Scott. We aired a clip.

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